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Faith in Lodi and the region Mormons believes in straight marriage, don’t condemn gays

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Joseph Anderson, Lodi Stake president, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

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Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013 12:00 am

The gospel of Jesus Christ is based on love, respect and agency. Mormons believe that all humans have inherited strengths, weaknesses, challenges and blessings and are invited to live (through the help and grace of God) the principles revealed by Jesus Christ. We are to love one another. We are to treat each other with respect as brothers and sisters and fellow children of God, no matter how much we may differ from one another.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that same-sex attraction is a sensitive issue that requires kindness, compassion and understanding. The website www.mormonsandgays.com strives to address, through interviews and videos from Church leaders and members, the issue of same-sex attraction as it relates to individuals and their family members.

Our doctrinal position is clear: Sexual activity should occur only between a man and a woman who are married. Jesus Christ, whom we follow, was clear in His condemnation of sexual immorality, yet His interest was always to lift the individual, never to tear down.

We firmly believe that all people are equally beloved children of God, and deserve to be treated with love and respect. Church apostle Elder Quentin L. Cook stated, "Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach to those who choose a different lifestyle as a result of their feelings about their own gender."

The LDS Church distinguishes between same-sex attraction and behavior. While feelings and inclinations toward the same sex are not inherently sinful, engaging in homosexual behavior is in conflict with the doctrinal principle, based on sacred scripture, that marriage between a man and a woman is essential to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

Because the church believes that the sacred powers of procreation are "to be exercised only between a man and a woman lawfully wedded as husband and wife ... any other sexual relations, including those between persons of the same gender, undermine the divinely created institution of the family." Accordingly, we favor measures that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Our affirmation of this neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility toward gays and lesbians. On the contrary, many church leaders have spoken clearly about the love and respect with which all people are to be treated.

The church has advocated for rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights as long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.

Even though the democratic process can be demanding and difficult, Latter-day Saints are profoundly grateful for, and respect, the ideals of a true democracy, including the judicial review by the United States Supreme Court.

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Welcome to the discussion.

9 comments:

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 9:34 pm on Wed, Apr 17, 2013.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1322

    [thumbup]

     
  • Brett Thompson posted at 6:44 am on Tue, Apr 16, 2013.

    Brett Thompson Posts: 54

    All this from the guy whose church's founder had 27 wives. Seems legit.

     
  • David Diskin posted at 9:25 pm on Sun, Apr 14, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 178

    Jerome, I think you're on to something. It's so obvious we were all overlooking it.

    The gays are just trying to use marriage equality to take over the church. If we let them marry, the very next day we'll be forced to sing YMCA instead of hymnals and the Pope is going to be dressed FABULOUSLY in Louis Vuitton.

    I bet they're even plotting to overthrow the government, too. Why stop at churches? I'm sure the already have a blueprint of the State of Liberty painted over in rainbow, and plan to add Freddie Mercury to Mt. Rushmore.

    We better stop them while we can.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 4:37 pm on Sun, Apr 14, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2323

    I wonder what the homosexual community is really expecting - do they just want to be treated "equally" insofar as the legal aspects that are provided to male/female marriages to be provided to them? Or are they actually expecting churches to change their doctrine thereby embracing the homosexual community and thusly provide them with all the non-legal aspects afforded to bona fide members of Christian churches (and others as well)?

    It seems to me that beyond these legal aspects they wish to break down (or through) whatever religious doctrine that has been a bulwark of many churches for hundreds of years and based upon what they "believe" to be sound and true. So my question would be if the Supreme Court rules against traditional marriage in favor of the terms demanded by the homosexual community, what would we expect to occur if and certainly when any church refuses to perform a marriage ceremony for couples not consisting of only a man and a woman?

     
  • Brian Dockter posted at 9:29 am on Sun, Apr 14, 2013.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2813

    Thank you Mr. Anderson for a well thought out letter.

     
  • Brian Dockter posted at 9:25 am on Sun, Apr 14, 2013.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2813

    . ChristophLer Bird Stated:


    the Mormon church is against, having provided $22,000,000 towards Proposition 8, by strong encouragement from the pulpit for donations by every member of the Mormon church, not just those in California to the enactment of Proposition 8.

    - The Mormon Church is committed to preserving marriage ONLY between a man and a woman. There is no persecution. In fact, gays have it pretty good here. Unlike Islamic countries where gays are persecuted AND murdered on an almost daily basis. Yet we don't hear a peep from the likes of L. Christopher Bird about the billions of dollars invested towards the advancement of global Islamic law where gays have almost zero rights.

     
  • L. Christopher Bird posted at 8:25 pm on Sat, Apr 13, 2013.

    ZenMondo Posts: 4

    "The church has advocated for rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights as long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches."

    The irony of course, is that the easiest, most clear path to the rights of hospitalization and medical care, probate rights, along with all 1,138 benefits, rights and protections given couples by marriage in federal law, is to have marriage equality, something no matter how nice this letter tries to come across, the Mormon church is against, having provided $22,000,000 towards Proposition 8, by strong encouragement from the pulpit for donations by every member of the Mormon church, not just those in California to the enactment of Proposition 8.

    And that is the rub, for all the talk of "we believe" there is an undercurrent of "we insist you do too" and, "we will use all the wealth and political power at our disposal to see that our personal, doctrinal positions, have the power of law for everyone Mormon or not." When it comes to this issue of same-sex marriage, they are not content to just encourage people to see their side of things and appeal to their sense of morality. They take action politically to try to ensure that their religiously motivated bigotry has the force of law.

    They have been on the wrong side of history since 1995, opposing same sex Marriage in Hawaii and Alaska. They were also instrumental in passing Proposition 22 (also known as the Knight initiative) which defined marriage in California to be between a man and a woman that was deemed unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court.

    The above letter states, "Because the church believes that the sacred powers of procreation are "to be exercised only between a man and a woman lawfully wedded as husband and wife ... any other sexual relations, including those between persons of the same gender, undermine the divinely created institution of the family." Accordingly, we favor measures that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman."

    But isn't it telling that the LDS church is not putting its political muscle on issues of multiple forms of sexual unions outside of the one and only one they approve of, that are perfectly legal, and seen by many with differing beliefs as perfectly moral, but only in denying the civil rights of people that hold a different opinion than them in the one arena of who and who cannot get married? They may be content to preach from the pulpit their disapproval of premarital sex between engaged couples, but they are not looking to legislate it. What makes same sex union so very different that they are not content to just battle in the marketplace of ideas, but must battle in the halls of government?

    Mr. Anderson seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth when he says things like " On the contrary, many church leaders have spoken clearly about the love and respect with which all people are to be treated." I would be happy to have your love and respect, but to me you cannot "respect" a person with one side of your mouth, and work to deny them equal protection under the law with the other side.

     
  • Todd Cronin posted at 4:58 pm on Sat, Apr 13, 2013.

    Todd Posts: 106

    Pretty good satirical reading..........
    Have not read anything this
    funny since jerry osgood!!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • David Diskin posted at 9:14 am on Sat, Apr 13, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 178

    Mr. Anderson, perhaps you can explain a few things:

    If it is not a sin to have homosexual thoughts and desires, why does Jesus tell us that even lusting after a woman is a sin?

    If acting on homosexuality is a sin, what about so many of the other laws in Leviticus and throughout the Bible? Tattoos? Working on the Sabbath? Adultery? What about the stated punishment?

    Why do we not condemn divorce? At the very least, churches should not perform marriages to those who have once been divorced, yes? The Mormon church is more than happy to forbid marriage to those who aren't Mormon.

    You talk about love and respect, but what about equality?

     

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